Hotel Presidente Meridien (Companhia Mineira do Lobito - Lobito Mining Company)
Luanda [São Paulo de Luanda], Luanda, Angola
Equipment and Infrastructures
The building was planned by the architect António Nunes e Silva Campino (1917-1997) who worked at the Gabinete de Urbanização (Urbanization Office of the Town Hall of Luanda founded in 1961). This architect designed important buildings in Modern Movement style which, according to the programs, basically followed the tenets of Le Corbusier’s international criteria, restrained by a sharp understanding of the local reality. Campino designed a number of high-quality residential constructions but his most remarkable work is the Hotel Presidente. This building, showing an almost monumental scale, closes the coastal road near the Port of Luanda. Built in the late 1960s, it is located in the port and service area at the end of Avenue 4 de Fevereiro, formerly Paulo Dias de Novais, crowning the northern side of the city’s Atlantic strip. The Hotel Presidente Meridien, the “Glass Palace” or Commercial Palace by the same author and the building of the Port of Luanda surround the former Square Diogo Cão. The hotel is developed from two overlapping blocks: a supine rectangular parallelepiped of four floors whose base continues the dominant height of the adjoining buildings; and a tower, also rectangular, with 25 floors, which rises above the cover of the base, suspended on pilotis. The building projects onto the urban space, street and square, through a gallery, an element very typical of Luanda. It possesses a significant symbolic/expressive value because of its volume, shape, and construction materials, but also because of its location.
The initial project for this building was prepared for a contest promoted by the Lobito Mining Company for the construction of its headquarters. António Campino was the winner. For its conversion into hotel, inaugurated in 1974, it was necessary to increase the number of floors, to strengthen the foundations and structure and to create new vertical accesses, from 1969 onwards.
The base of the building is presently used by the Agostinho Neto University Rectory, while the Presidente Hotel still functions in the tower.